Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jews hate opera more than all other white religious groups: Below I list the percent of whites from various religions who really dislike opera, according to the General Social Survey. I was surprised to see that a high-status group--Jews--hate it more than anyone, even more than the much less intelligent Southern Baptists:

Percent who dislike opera very much

Jews 34.4

Southern Baptists 32.8

Baptists--unspecified 32.1

Catholics 17.5

United Methodist 13.6

Episcopalian 9.7

No religion 7.8

To be more precise, fewer Jews are neutral on opera since they are also overrepresented among those who really like it (15.6% versus 4.8% for all Americans).

One would expect an elite group to have a particular fondness for this type of music (in a previous post, I showed that the mean IQ of opera fans was higher than for any other genre) so why are Jews so polarized? Would more folks like it, but visions of Hitler enraptured while listening to Ride of the Valkyries ruin it for them?

This reminds me of the episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry gets into an argument with another Jew because Larry likes Wagner, but the other guy thinks only a self-hating Jew would listen to that stuff.


Tenos said...
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dearieme said...

I do wonder whether opera-lovers and Wagner-lovers are two different species.

Hippolytus said...

Yup I'm one of those people dearieme. A Wagner fan, but not an opera fan.

I have a total of eight operas on DVD and they're all Wagner. I just can't get into anything else opera wise.

Anonymous said...

Jews may hate opera, but quite a few have donated money to the Met, or at least it seems that way to me.

dearieme said...

Oh, hippo, you poor thing. Mozart is The Man.

dearieme said...

But we have wandered, Hippo. Why do Jews disproportionately dislike either? Or both? A distaste for hysterical yelling?

Peter said...

Jews might be more likely to have strong opinions on opera, one way or the other, because they're more likely to have been to an opera. Unless you've actually seen an opera it's probably hard to have a strong like or dislike.

Ron Guhname said...

peter: Presumably, Episcopalians are also more likely to have attended an opera, but they are not polarized.